By Mary Carroll, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – A week after the arrest of the president’s ex-chief of staff of the Presidency in São Paulo, Rosemary Noronha claims she is innocent amid accusations of influence peddling and corruption. Noronha insists that she never engaged in any illegal activities during her time as chief of staff.
Noronha, who was the PT secretary for twelve years, complained that her life has been “probed” as a result of the investigation.
In a statement released by her lawyer on Thursday, she said, “while working for the president, I never did anything illegal, immoral or irregular that favored the former minister José Dirceu or former President Lula when he held that position.”
The statement also said, “I also never knew of their personal or professional relationship with the brothers Paulo and Rubens Vieira.”
It is alleged that Noronha assisted Paulo Rodrigues Vieira in his abuse of power while in Government. Vieira stands accused of leading a scheme that served their personal interests.
Noronha addressed the issue in her statement “For over ten years, I have a strong bond and friendship with Mr. Paulo Vieira , now shaken by details of the operation of the Federal Police. I, myself, am baffled by the case, I am absolutely sure of my innocence. I have not been involved in any influence peddling or any act of corruption, as will soon be proven.”
When asked by O Globo of his relationship with Noronha, ex-president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva gave a stiff “No, no, no” as he was escorted away by his escorts.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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